Sunday, December 30, 2012

At number 4: early March tornado outbreaks in the US

It astounds me that some are still debating whether or not our climate is changing. We had tornadoes at Christmas a few days ago. And, earlier this year, an outbreak of tornadoes in late February and early March caused significant damages through large parts of the US midwest.

To me that series of events is important to the development and general acceptance of SMEM by emergency managers for a few reasons:

  1. social media played a key role in the alerting process 
  2. social networks were extensively used to help with the response and early recovery efforts 
  3. the use of social media made its way beyond the realm of the PIO and into other functions of the EOC.
Screen Capture from Tweetdeck showing the hashtags #Henryvillehelps and #Henryvilleneeds

These events affected a great number of people throughout many states. For many of them, social networks proved to be an essential lifeline. In fact, the technology can be used to harness the power of the crowd, increase community resilience and play a key role in recovery efforts. Here's what my friend Kim Stephens wrote earlier this year on a project combining all these.

For the above reasons, the outbreaks of tornadoes in late February and early March rank at number 4 in my list of top 10 SMEM-related events of 2012.

The list so far: 

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